Perhaps you are having another child and need a nursery. Perhaps you need an office for your home based business or a guest room for friends and relatives that descend frequently.
Our families experience was finding ourselves still living in our two bedroom cottage and having a second child (do we stay or do we go? ) and then, many years after embracing the shared room for our two sons, adding a third son to the mix. We still hadn't moved and we still hadn't renovated. For us there was no choice and as frustrating as our situation felt at the time, I feel it worked very well. Initially our second was in our room. On our eldests second birthday we moved the boys in together. Our second was four months old.
Any concerns were irrelevant because we had no choice. Admittedly I was sad not to be decorating a babies room but having the boys together was bliss. Our baby slept through from then on and I honestly believe that he felt the comfort of his sibling in the space with him. Neither woke the other which seemed miraculous. And the decorating part was fun! Once they progressed from a cot and a single into two singles I set it up like a little dormitory. Years later we put them into bunk beds and I made a curtain for the lower bunk and strung lights and bunting across the ceiling as though they were in their own little cabin. This also freed up the ever so important floor space for Lego and trains.
Our third had his "nursery" on a section of wall behind our bedroom door until he moved in with the boys. Yes I had three in one room which sounds crazy. It was a crazy kind of wonderful to be honest.
By then I had painted all our house floors and walls white so their room was lovely and bright. Having the white floors made the room feel much larger than it was and, despite the number of toys and books in there, quite uncluttered. Organisation was key to my sanity and indeed theirs. Wall shelves, a reading nook under the stairs, storage baskets under the two single beds and the cot ( by then we had moved the boys back to this and sold the bunks) and a storage sack at the end of each bed. It worked really well for our lifestyle and most importantly for their relationship.
Now we live in a larger house and the kids have their own spaces. Off they go and close their doors and it makes me a little sad that they aren't still sharing and we aren't all tumbling over each other in our tiny cottage.
I would never hesitate to put kids in together even when you have boy and girl. It makes it a little more challenging in terms of decorating but it is so much fun and so good for them. My oldest children shared until this year. They are thirteen and fifteen and it certainly didn't kill them. When they aren't hiding out in their own rooms these days they are driving each other crazy hanging out in one of their bedrooms. Its quite lovely.
There are many options from dormitory style single beds lined up to even triple bunks to the ceiling or tiered around the walls. Make each childs space personal with some wall shelves for display or treasures and art but make sure there is a designated communal zone too. Younger children need floor space, older children want a reading zone/ music listening hang out and somewhere to work. The possibilities are endless and the rewards for family life can be huge.
* Keep it visually controlled by selecting a colour palette, choosing matching beds ( same style different colours or different styles but the same colour) and bedding.
* Personalise it with a wall display above each bed, different bedside lamps, a little foot rug next to each bed and even a painted or wallpapered panel of wall declaring their sleep zone bringing some eclecticism to the room.
* Communal zones can be made clear with a large central floor rug, coordinated poufs or beanbags and if you have space a long wall built in desk. Again apply the same colour / style rule to the chairs to keep it visually smooth but personalised.
Shared spaces should be fun and function well for your families needs. Just remember storage storage storage.
4. amy berry design
6. photo by petra bindel for elle magazine
Beanbag by Home Day
Bedding By Nord
Cushion La Cerise Sur Le Gateau
Clear bookshelf by Ububub
Bunk Bed by Oliver Furniture
Single Bed by Laurette